Shawn Rife 
Member since Apr 24, 2016

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Re: “The United [super-sized] Soccer League

Interesting exchange. Mr. Turner's article is certainly not the first opinion piece out there suggesting that USL is on an upward trajectory and NASL is not (Mr. Kerrsen, to misquote Shakespeare, "methinks thou dost protest too much"). The difference is business models. The NASL--perhaps overly mesmerized by the imagined power of the name "New York Cosmos"--has made the decision to try to position themselves to someday challenge MLS for top-tier status. Huge potential payoff there but right now NASL's growing challenge is simply to maintain second-tier. USL on the other hand has hitched its wagon to MLS--brilliant move for establishing credibility and financial stability (although there is a longer-term risk in behind saddled with a reputation as an MLS "farm league"). As for on-field quality, USL's clear dominance over NASL teams in 2015 Open Cup play was pretty telling. We'll see in 2016 if that was fluke or trend. Bottom-line, I'm a fan of both leagues...but if I had to bet money on which league has the brighter future, right now USL wins hands-down.

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Posted by Shawn Rife on 04/24/2016 at 10:21 AM

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